As a manager and a leader you need to make it a part of your daily routine to catch your team members or staff in the act of doing something right and then recognize them for it. Recognition is an essential form of feedback that has the potential to greatly impact the performance, development and success of the members of your team. Effectively recognizing people can be a tremendous motivator and accomplishes several things:
1) It lets the person know their performance is valued, thereby increasing the likelihood that they will repeat or continue desired performance.
2) It builds confidence, which encourages new behaviors and further develops their skill sets.
3) It can lead to greater job satisfaction and commitment to the job, team, and manager.
However, if executed poorly, recognition can have an adverse effect. The key to providing good recognition is to make it meaningful to the person. Recognition should be:
Earned: If the effort is not worthy of recognition, then don’t; if every employee is recognized for every task they do it can become meaningless and can no longer be used as a motivator.
Timely: Not mentioning it the moment that the person’s contribution is noticed can leave the employee feeling like it wasn’t noticed or appreciated; delaying the message can also diminish the impact of recognition.
Specific: Make every effort to clearly communicate the connection between the demonstrated behavior, the effect it had on the situation and the recognition or reward; in other words, be sure people understand why they are being recognized.
Tailored: It can be all too easy to assume that what motivates you will motivate other people, which is why it is essential to talk to your employees and find out how they prefer to be recognized/rewarded; a manager who takes time out of a busy day to thank them and appreciate the work that they are doing in a way that they appreciate (whether that’s a handwritten note, taking the person to lunch, or making a public announcement, etc.) can mean a lot to that person.
Recognition that is not meaningful to an employee will not be successful in motivating them. As a manager and a leader you should never let good work go unnoticed. The payoff that this appreciation will provide to the employee and the positive effect it can have on their performance is well worth the effort.